Pray for the three Anabaptist synods in Indonesia: GITJ (Gereja Injili de Tanah Jawa – the oldest Anabaptist-Mennonite Global South conference in the world), GKMI (Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia) and JKI (Jemaat Kristen Indonesia). Pray for the churches’ safety and witness in Indonesia, part of a small Christian minority in the country with the largest number of Muslims in the world.
The Lord hears the prayers of his people. The churches in India praise God for fulfilling their day-to-day needs and keeping them safe. Many families lost their dear ones, yet the Lord granted his care and protection.
There have been natural calamities like flood, cyclone, untimely rain and sometimes no rain. Joblessness causes financial stress and many young people leave to search for employment. Pray for open doors to income generating projects.
Visitation to church and community members continue (heeding public health advice for safe interactions): Anabaptist-Mennonites bring the Word of God and prayer, hygiene items and food.
Praise God: BICC Odisha planted 10 new churches, two new house fellowships and baptize hundreds of new believers in 2021.
—Bijoy Roul, BICC Odisha; Paul Phinehas, Gilgal Mission Trust; Benjamin Nand, Mennonite Christian Service Fellowship
Photo: Henk Stenvers, 2018
Pray for Belarus and its neighbouring countries. Political upheaval and the country’s position as a gateway between Asia and Europe has resulted in a migration crisis. Anabaptist-Mennonite congregations in Lithuania, Germany and Austria seek wisdom about responding to migrants in their countries. Constantly fluctuating coronavirus infection rates add further complications to offering aid. Pray for churches to have courageous compassion.
Rainy season brings difficult weather in Southeast Asia. Pray for the Philippines recently struck by a typhoon and for Indonesia which sees more natural disasters in this season. Praise God for church agencies like GKMI’s Mennonite Diakonia Service in Indonesia which respond with material aid and the love of Christ.
Pray that MWC member churches would be open to the moving of the Holy Spirit. May our churches experience individual and corporate renewal. May our hearts turn away from the allure of individualism, toward the call of God to act interdependently as God’s shalom builders in our communities.
Dear Lord, as we enter this new year, steady our hearts to spread the gospel of peace. May we follow your Spirit as we work for transformation and justice in this world. Lord, give us courage to proclaim this message in word and action, especially in places where there is corruption, persecution and natural disasters. Thank you for Jesus’ peacemaking example.
Pray for the many MWC meetings in Indonesia in July 2022 – the member church delegates at the General Council, Commissions, MWC networks (mission, service, peace, education, health), and the global Assembly itself. Pray for health and safety of all participants. Pray that the Spirit will move in the midst of the gatherings, uniting and strengthening the body.
Pray for Brazil where the political situation is not good; radicalism, churches getting involved in politics that bring lots of conflicts, environment problems and inflation.
—Hans Gerhard Peters, Aliança Evangélica Menonita, Brazil
Youth in Zambia struggle to find employment and many families do not have enough food, says Kaumba Samwangala, from Choma, Zambia. Pray that God’s hand may supply the needs through local church and government.
—Kaumba Samwangala, Batoka Primary School (BIC), Zambia
“When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 64:3-5)
Lord, we confess that we have sinned. Thank you for drawing near to us by sending the Messiah to save us and reveal your power. As we celebrate the hope of Christmas, teach us your self-emptying ways.
Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Bolivia, Paraguay and Urugay after a period of very low cases. This causes panic in people even in the church. We pray that God will strength us to continue to reach out to people with the gospel. In December and January, congregations in Bolivia are planning to organize several vacation Bible schools; please pray for the leaders, the children who will participate and for their families.
—Freddy Barron, regional representative, Latin America, Cono Sur
Many congregations in Uganda meet under the trees or sit on dusty floors, says Simon Onyango Okoth, bishop of Uganda Mennonite Church. Praise God for the grateful, pioneering spirit of these church members. Pray for leadership development to lead to sustainability.
Praise God for the cresting of the latest wave of infection in Indonesia. Pray that the number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia and the world will continue to decrease significantly, so that MWC General Assembly 17 in Indonesia can still be attended by Anabaptist sisters and brothers from all over the world. Pray for wisdom for the committee taking the decision to set a proper alternative model for the MWC General Assembly 17.
Pray for Anabaptist-Mennonites in British Columbia, Canada. After a summer of record high temperatures and wild fires, the province has been deluged with tremendous rainfall, causing flooding that has washed out major highways that link the Port of Vancouver to the rest of Canada, and flooding a region populated by many Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren church members. Thousands of homes and farms have been destroyed.
“As Canadians, we are used to a stable environment, but these floods are reminding us to look to the Lord and not take things for granted. It’s an opportunity to show the love of Christ in action, helping out our neighbours.
“Pray that we will learn the lessons the Lord is wanting to teach us in this moment: That we will look to God in humility and trust and remember that although creation is “groaning” it remains under His control and still declares His glory and goodness.” —Rob Thiessen, British Columbia Mennonite Brethren conference minister
“I pray that the waters will hold back, that the rivers will flow without more destruction to homes and farms and barns and life. But, even so, if it does cause more destruction. We will stand together and serve one another. Community leaders, churches, businesses and everyone in between.”—Darnell Barkman, pastor at Yarrow United Mennonite Church, B.C., Canada, and vice moderator of Mennonite Church BC.
Pray for a good rain in Malawi and that vulnerable people should be able to buy fertilizer for their maize fields.
Pray that people will have food to eat during the growing season so that they will be able to take care of their fields.
—Francis Kamoto, Mpingo Wa Abale Mwa Kristu (BIC) Malawi
Thousands of people have fled Thantlang, Myanmar, and are hiding in the jungle. A Mennonite pastor writes:
My hometown, my dear Thantlang, which was so much fun is now as quiet as a graveyard. You have been burnt to the ground and your temples and houses have been destroyed. The sound of children playing was silenced and the church bells stopped ringing. You are the only town in the world where no human is.
I pray that God will take care of you and rebuild you a new life.
As restrictions on gatherings are gradually removed across Europe, pray that congregations will be ready to welcome people back into their spaces. May the hunger for in-person fellowship bring new people to seek out churches as a place to connect. May congregations respond with creativity and humility to the lessons the pandemic taught about what is necessary.
Lord God, your compassion is manifest in the Anabaptist-Mennonite community in Colombia!
Thank you for the prayers of our brothers and sisters around the globe in response to Nelson Kraybill’s May 2021 prayer for God’s mercy (written on occasion of demonstrations throughout the country addressing economic policies, a proposed tax reform, high-level corruption, a lack of opportunity for the youth, and slow implementation of the peace accords, among other items, that were perceived as further harming the country).*
Conditions have not changed significantly since then: almost half of the population lives in poverty and violence continues to take its daily toll.
Yet, God’s Spirit is working in the actions of Anabaptist churches in Colombia participating in Pan y Paz (the “Bread and Peace” campaign); in Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren organizations Justapaz. Mencoldes and Edupaz that work for reconciliation and peace and care for victims and human rights advocates; and in congregations in Cali, Bogotá, Riohacha, Chocó and elsewhere who – with support from MCC – care for Venezuelan migrants and displaced persons in need of food and emergency aid.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our ongoing prayer.
—Pablo Stucky, MWC regional representative, Latin America – Andean Region
Photo: Anna Vogt I A gathering of Mennonite church leaders in Colombia in 2017.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
as we reflect on the beauty and diversity of planet earth
and all its beings that you have created to function in harmony with each other,
we are deeply saddened and repentant for the way in which we have behaved,
and the disasters we have contributed to with our irresponsible behaviour.
We have been disobedient to your calling to be good stewards.
As a society, and as your church, we are fearful and sad for what is happening all around us;
for the deep damage and pain we have caused,
especially to so many poor, vulnerable and helpless communities,
to future generations (our own children!),
and to diverse and wonderful creatures you care for.
We all cry out to you in sadness, fear, pain and sometimes anger.
We pray that our feelings of anxiety, despair and discouragement might be transformed into hope by the power of your Holy Spirit.
That as a church, we can wake up from our slumber,
and be motivated to work for change and restoration of your beloved creation.
Juliana Morillo, Creation Care Task Force
God of justice, we pray for vaccine equity around the world. We cry with those who are suffering without opportunity to be vaccinated. Soften the hearts of political and pharmaceutical leaders to release vaccines and patents to low income countries. We pray especially for our brothers and sisters in Tanzania where less than one percent of the population has been vaccinated. We thank you for the generosity of our members who care for the sick through physical aid and donations to UNICEF’s vaccination campaign.